Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Little Rock Update

Here's the update from the trip to the doctor in Little Rock yesterday...The news isn't good.
The baby has what is called Posterior Urethral Disorder. This means that the valve that would normally allow the bladder to drain is facing the wrong way. It is supposed to allow urine to drain and not allow other things to come in; however, it is currently not allowing any urine to drain. This causes lots of problems, including bladder issues, kidney issues, and most importantly at this point in the pregnancy, does not allow the amniotic fluid to be replenished. So, as the next few weeks go on, and the baby is unable to urinate, the fluid he uses for sustenance becomes less and less. Right now, there is really no hope for survival. We will go back to Little Rock in 3 weeks for another visit. At that point, the doctor will evaluate fluid levels and we'll develop a plan. Basically, the expectation is we'll keep going till the baby has no more fluid, and then deliver, but, again, there isn't really any chance for survival.
The news was bleak, and I'm very sad. But, I do feel a bit more comfort than I have felt in a long time. Please continue to pray for us to have peace and comfort in knowing that God has a plan for us in all of this.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Still not much to update

Well...it's another Monday, and there's not much to tell. I'm still feeling pretty bad. Minor bleeding, and lots of pain. Saturday morning was pretty much excruciating. (I'm sure I spelled that way wrong.) I couldn't even stand up straight. I've got bronchitis right now, too, so I'm sure the constant coughing isn't helping with the abdominal pain at all.
I've still got one more week till I go to Little Rock. Hopefully, that will go well. So, I continue to wait...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I had to go to the hospital Monday for yet another emergency ultrasound. The good news is that the baby is still there and the heart rate is still in the normal range. The bad news is that there are still problems with the baby. The baby's bladder is very oversized and does not seem to be draining. The doctor thinks that there is a blockage that is causing it to not drain. They have made an appointment for me to go to Little Rock and have an ultrasound with a perinatologist on the 15th to further evaluate the situation, and to make a plan on how to help the baby.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A little better today

So, I'm feeling a little better today. Not so much physically, but emotionally. I went to Ladies Night at church last night, and it was a relief to have some time to just have fun and visit. I was able to sleep probably 3 hours last night. That's better than I've been doing, so I'll take that as a small victory.
I'm feeling guilty that this blog is turning into being all about me, but what goes on in me is what happens with the baby right now, right?
Anyway, hopefully, I'll make it through today, and then it will only be 9 days till my next doctor visit. I'll feel much better if things look okay then.

Friday, November 14, 2008


How is it that something that was so exciting just a few days ago is now such a source of angst for me? I'm struggling so much right now. BJ keeps encouraging to just let go and let God do what He wants. I know that's what I SHOULD do, but it's just not easy. Every hour, every minute, all I think about is my baby. Will I ever get to see him? Will I ever get to hold him? If I do, will he be healthy enough to live for a minute, an hour, a day? I just don't know. I know it's out of my hands. But it's so hard to let go of this worry.
I know that continuing to worry will only make things worse, and I'm trying. I promise, I'm trying so hard to not worry. To know that God will take care of things however HE wants to. But this is so stinking hard.
I haven't slept since Tuesday. Well...I have slept, but only for a couple of hours a night. I just can't relax. I can't be still. I need peace. I need comfort. I'm begging God for it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


When I first got to the doctor's office, the mood was extremely grim. Dr. Mason (who is almost always upbeat with me) was very reserved. The first question I asked him was if there was any hope. He didn't really give me an answer to that, except that from what he had seen on yesterday's ultrasound, the baby looked very sick, and would not be able to survive. He repeated what had been said yesterday that they wouldn't do anything as long as the baby had a heartbeat. Then, he listened with the doppler for a heartbeat. He said then that he thought he heard one, so he wanted to do another ultrasound.
They brought the ultrasound into the room with me, and he did this one himself. He spent a lot of time looking around, and then talked to me about what he saw. The long and short of it is that yesterday, they saw too much fluid around the baby. Today, it looked better. Yesterday, the baby's heartbeat was very low. Today, it was very strong and in the normal range (actually, it was 160, which is very good). Yesterday, the baby was not moving. Today, it was moving its arms and kicking.
He said not to get false hope. We're not out of the woods. But, from what he had seen yesterday, he had already made an appointment for me to have surgery tomorrow because he did not expect to hear a heartbeat today. After today's appointment, he's cancelled that surgery.
I'll go back to see the doctor on November 25. Until then, I watch my symptoms, and we pray.
So, was today's visit a miracle? I don't know. I just really don't know. But what a difference a day makes.

Really bad news

Yesterday was my birthday. Birthdays are supposed to be good days, but I woke up knowing that it was not going to be a good one. I didn't feel good, and I couldn't stop crying uncontrollably. I managed to get it together enough to go to work, and made it through over half the day. In the early afternoon, I went to the bathroom and found that I was bleeding. I called my doctor's office and waited for their call back. When the nurse called me back, she asked me to come in for an ultrasound. As soon as the ultrasound started, I knew that something was really wrong. The tech was very quiet and didn't show me anything on the screen. After she was done, she verified that the baby was at the right size for 10 weeks (which is exactly how far along we thought I was), and told me that she had a picture for me, but she wanted the doctor to talk to me about what the ultrasound showed. My heart sank. I knew that couldn't be good. A few minutes later, the nurse came to get me and took me into an exam room. Her words broke my heart. "What we have here is a very, very sick baby." She went on to tell me that the baby's heart isn't developing correctly. He (I'll call the baby he, even though external organs haven't developed yet, so we really don't know...) only has one heart chamber, as opposed to the 4 that he should have. His heart rate is only 110, not at all what it should be. The nurse told me that there's no way that my baby can survive. Wow. That's so incredibly hard to hear.
What's even harder is that now I have to wait. I go back to the doctor today at 1:45 PM for him to discuss "the plan" with me.
This is all so hard. BJ is heartbroken. I'm distraught. I feel lost and alone and guilty that maybe I did something wrong that kept my baby from growing the way he should have. I just pray that my baby is not suffering. I pray that God will give me and BJ peace. I pray that someday I'll be able to accept that God has a plan for me, and this is a part of it. For right now, that's a very difficult thing to grasp.

Monday, November 10, 2008

First purchase

This weekend, I purchased the first item for the new baby. It's a cradle. I was driving past a garage sale and saw it, so I stopped and asked how much they wanted for it. The lady said $5! I wasn't going to pass that up! Anyway, it's just a plain white wooden cradle that we'll probably re-finish before the baby gets here, but it's nice to have something bought already. I was a little disappointed because Savanna had an awesome bassinet, but I sold it at a garage sale earlier this year when I thought I'd never have any more babies. (I love how God has such different things in store for us than what we think our plan is!!!) Anyway, this cradle will be a nice substitute to the bassinet that I loved so much.
BJ and I have been discussing name options already. We pretty quickly came up with a girl name that we both like...Zoe Grace. Boy names are a little more difficult to agree on. BJ loves Israel Asher, but I'm not crazy about Israel as a first name. I like Asher, though, so I'm cool with that as a middle name. Last night, I came up with Jude Asher, and BJ is kinda okay with that. Of course, we have several months to change our minds or to come up with viable alternatives.
The baby is growing and looks more like a human and less like an alien than it did just a few weeks ago. Here is a picture of what a 10-week fetus looks like:

Friday, October 31, 2008

Not much to update

So there's not much to say, except that I still feel crappy. I'm tired, and I'm more grouchy than I can ever remember being in my life. Thank the good Lord that BJ is pretty understanding with me. I've got my first craving. It's Gummi Bears. Don't know why. I've never really been a big fan, but for the past several days, that's all I can think about. Today one of my coworkers brought me a bag of them. I was thrilled, to say the least!!!
After I started eating them, I realized that they are about the same size as the baby right now. Kinda freaky, huh?
Anyway, here's a picture of what the little one looks like right now:

Webbed feet and fingers...not exactly human looking yet!
I've not really gained any pounds yet. I'm super happy about that. I'm really worried about getting huge with this baby. The new gym opens in Lowell in the next few weeks, and I got a membership, so I'm planning on starting to swim laps soon. It's not that I want to be unhealthy about weight gain, but I don't want to gain 30+ pounds again, like I did with Vanni.
I just keep praying I can make it through these next four weeks. I know the second trimester will HAVE to be better!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First Post

Well...it's all official now, so I figure I'd better start a blog for the newest member of the Carsten family. Two weeks ago, I took a little test and saw a little plus sign. Today, I went to the doctor and started pre-natal planning. So, it's official. BJ and I are having a baby! Josie, Declan, and Savanna are going to have a new sibling!
It's all very surreal...I mean BJ and I just got married, and then 8 weeks later...BUT...I know that it's a blessing, and that even though right now BJ and I are stressing about the financial implications, we know that one more to love in our family is just going to make it that much more full and wonderful!
Up to this point, there's not much to report...I feel crappy...I'm tired all the time...and my emotions are out of control. But I haven't been too awful sick, so that's awesome.
I've got mixed emotions about the months to come. I'm excited, and nervous, and joyous and scared...all at the same time. I didn't love pregnancy with Savanna, but she was well worth it after she got here, so I'm sure that this baby will be just as worth anything that I'm subjected to over the course of the next nine months.
Today's doctor appointment was really nothing to write home about. I didn't even see the doctor, in fact. I just got vitals taken, and then got lab work done, then did ALL my paperwork with the nurse. They really ask a million questions, but that's good because it helps to determine whether I'm a high-risk pregnancy.
Right now, I'm just praying to make it through the next 6 weeks (that'll be the end of the first trimester) without any complications. After that, I'll feel much more relaxed and much less worried about having problems.
Hopefully, all will go smoothly. I have faith that God will get us through it...no matter what the next several months hold in store for our family.